Weasel maintainers win big at PACAF

U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 35th Maintenance Squadron inspect a divergent seal with a flash light, examine an F-16 Fighting Falcon, load 20mm rounds on to a Universal Ammunition Loading System and weld parts of an F-16 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, throughout 2017 and 2018. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Xiomara M. Martinez)
U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 35th Maintenance Squadron inspect a divergent seal with a flash light, examine an F-16 Fighting Falcon, load 20mm rounds on to a Universal Ammunition Loading System and weld parts of an F-16 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, throughout 2017 and 2018. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Xiomara M. Martinez)

Weasel maintainers win big at PACAF

by Airman 1st Class Xiomara M. Martinez
Misawa Air Base

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 35th Maintenance Squadron won the Pacific Air Forces Maintenance Effectiveness Award by providing safe, serviceable and available equipment for sustained use in peacetime and in wartime at Misawa Air Base, Japan, from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018.

Misawa’s maintainers perform safe and reliable maintenance on F-16 Fighting Falcons, equipment and munitions while sustaining Japanese partnerships. Units are evaluated on mission accomplishment, innovative and effective use of maintenance resources and personnel quality of life programs.

The 550 personnel with the 35th MXS competed in category two, which specifies medium aircraft maintenance units with 301 to 999 authorized personnel.

Among the 22 other similar-sized units, the 35th MXS surpassed competitors with their centralized repair facility, field-level repairs of depot components in fabrication and planning for agile combat employment within ammunitions and aerospace ground equipment.

“We won because of our exceptional team cohesion,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Brown, the 35th MXS test cell section chief. “Everyone supports each other and it shows. Our taskings focus on strategic operations as a force multiplier with execution on all mission facets.”

The flights recognized in the award include accessories, test measurement and diagnostic equipment, fabrication, AGE, maintenance, propulsions, munitions, avionics and armament.

Throughout the award period, the 35th MXS enhanced the 35th Fighter Wing Wild Weasel’s readiness by deploying 832 personnel to 11 worldwide locations while executing 7,100 training sorties and 9,800 flying hours.

In addition to improving readiness, the 35th MXS has PACAF’s only F110 jet engine centralized repair facility, which kept three fighter wings flying despite 63 engine inductions and double the engine input standard workload. Munitions also played a vital role with their development of the rapid weasel munitions sustainment packages.

“We worked out the load plans and mobilization process while conducting two training events with Yokota Air Base,” said Senior Master Sgt. Luke Thompson, the 35th MXS munitions material section chief. “Another integral piece was when we shipped 60 tons of munitions equipment to the Korean Peninsula in support of the pressure campaign.”

Overall, the 35th MXS proved not only their ability to exceed unparalleled Misawa mission standards but also set the criterion for units region wide.

“We are very proud of what we do, so it feels validating to be recognized for the standard of excellence imposed on ourselves,” said Thompson. “Warfare is our business and what we train for every day. The things we produce win our nation’s wars, so failure in our mission is not an option.”

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